Archive for March, 2011

World of Warcraft

This experience with world of warcraft was definitely interesting. I played in high school and haven’t played in 3 years but the opening of the game was very familiar. The creation of a character is fun but upon realizing how long it takes to gain levels I rediscovered why I quit, and that is because it is an enormous time kill. Although the quests eventually become more complicated the basic element of the game remains the same throughout, stand in front of stuff swinging a weapon until it dies and then looting its body. I find it somewhat depressing that I spent so much of my time doing this same pointless task in high school, and although the class is playing it isn’t the same when I don’t have my friends to talk to in the game. I can’t imagine playing this game without any real life friends playing along with me I feel like it would be a very lonely time.

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The sad state of smash

Super smash bros. 64 came out in 1999 and is the best of the series. Because of a glitch known as “cancelling” players were able to increase the speed on game play dramatically. The use of combos by using the A attacks required incredible dexterity, strategic placement, and mind games.

Then in 2001, melee came out. Melee is the most competitive game in the series because their was cancelling as well as a technique known as “wave-dashing” that allowed players to make their characters faster than they could run. Thus the game was incredibly fast and almost any character could be played competitively.

Brawl is an abomination. It is the most pathetic excuse for a fighting game I have ever experienced. Nintendo wanted to make the gameĀ  less competitive so they put in a ton of map gimmicks, built in combos, and randomized tripping. I hate brawl it was the biggest disappointment of my entire life.

Christianity is a myth! Laura said so (all glory be to allah)

mythological systems/religion depend on narrative structure.

The life of the hero has a pattern.

according to the media people ditch their own lives to play world of warcraft. This is because reality is broken.

No poetic justice in the real world. The corrupt come out on top.

The concept that reality is broken is the projection of narrative ideals or perfections that people want but just don’t exist in reality. That is why people switch to living in games because it is an easier place to exist.

Recovery process

Set goals and focus on progress. lalalalala

get support from friends and family

read your symptoms like a temperature gauge

These are all easy in games but difficult to see in real life. Without the narrative people have a hard time tracking their own progress. Narrative gives us a concrete goal and thus motivation. Real life motivations often are the result of patriotism, god, etc. and it can be challenging to determine if these motivations are actually positive.

EX: “I’m going to help protect America, the country I love by joining the Army!” Then, whoops you killed innocent civilians in a corrupt war.

OR

“I’m going to help the people of Japan who are going through a terrible crisis!” Then, whoops I donated to a Christian charity and they sent them a bunch of bibles rather than actual aid.

Finding motivation without these guiding forces can be hard and that is why social problems persist.

Micropolis

Micropolis is an open source version of sim city. They loaded it onto OLPC (One laptop per Child) computers for free. The source code is available for free, and upon inspection is quite complex. The different aspects of the game appear in their own sections EX: pollution, land value, crime average, etc. with x,y, and z variables seemingly connected to them. The sections blend to an extent and thus it is difficult to determine which variables apply to which fields. Initially, I believed the blue words were the beginning of sentences but the blue words became more sporadic further down the code.

There is a lot of “if” in the code and that allows both for the free-will of the computer generated AI people involved in the game and your own choices as the creator of the world. There is no specific plot of the code allowing for infinite outcomes however the basic limitations of space are still applicable. This concept reminds me of dimensions and one could compare every new game started as a new dimension. The world, buildings, etc. will all be the same however where they are will be different every time. The minute details of spacing determine all the aspects of the game and thus the design of a world is the direct cause of everything else. Because the people and buildings are basic they are predictable and thus numeric values can be assigned and understood by both player and computer. This is where the game varies from reality; with only the basics of humanity in the code the simulation is incomplete because without the element of human randomness it is not a real city because it lacks the essences of life.

The ultimate city within the game would have optimum space utilization through the use of grids, however when you look at the cities where some of the greatest accomplishments in human history occurred (many European) the cities are not grids. Perfection in the eyes of a code or a computer is thus much different than perfection in the eyes of a human.